There are many mixed opinions regarding the question, “are bananas good or bad for weight loss?” There are two primary reasons for these mixed opinions. First, studies haven’t definitively shown that participants who ate bananas experienced weight loss. Secondly, bananas have contents such as sugar, and diets filled with excessive sugar consumption have been linked to obesity. Because of this lack of definitiveness with the studies and because bananas have sugar content, people have come up with their own viewpoints of whether bananas are good for weight loss based on their own understanding of what causes weight loss. This can be frustrating for people trying to do research on the matter because the points of view will clash with one another.
To answer whether bananas are good or bad for weight loss, we must address the 2 points that cause debate over the issue: bananas have sugar content and lack of consistency with the studies.
Bananas Have Sugar Content
Now even though its true bananas have sugar content, its important to mention that sugar content is found in very moderate amounts in bananas.
With its sugar content and all of its other contents combined, the average medium-size banana has about 105 calories, which is a rather conservative amount of calories when you think about how filling and what a great source of energy a banana can be.
.Therefore, bananas can be considered a weight-loss friendly food because they can fill you up and provide you energy at relatively little calorie intake.
Its also important to point out that bananas also have vitamins & minerals, and as a whole bananas are a very nutritious and healthy food.
Lastly, its important to mention that many fruits have sugar content as well.
Now Just because bananas are weight loss friendly doesn’t mean if you’re going to experience weight loss. As bananas are just one of the many foods in your diet.
Studies Are Not Definitive
Even though bananas are great for weight loss, it doesn’t mean if you eat bananas, you’re guaranteed to lose weight. That is why many studies that measure bananas’ ability to create weight loss get mixed results.
You see, weight loss is not just about whether you’re eating one particular food or not. Weight loss is about your whole diet.
Is your diet one where you’re taking in fewer calories than you’re burning? Now a low-calorie filling food like bananas can definitely help you, but it can’t do it on its own. All the food in your diet has to contribute fewer calories than what you burn, and if your diet is so, you will experience weight loss.
Recap: Bananas are a weight loss-friendly food; however, that does mean if you eat bananas, you’re guaranteed to lose weight.
What Allows Bananas To Be So Weight Loss Friendly?
In the earlier section we explained that bananas are great for weight loss because they fill you up at little calorie expense. It’s important to understand how.
As mentioned above bananas are a weight loss friendly food because they can fill you up and provide you energy at little calorie intake. Bananas ability to be filling and yet be so low in calories can be explained in 3 reasons:
1. High Water Content
Water is very filling to consume, and as you probably already know, water has no calories. Bananas are made up of 83 percent water.
2. Fiber Content
Fiber is a very filling content to consume and fiber has virtually no calories. The average medium size bananas contains about 3 grams of fiber.
3. Content That Have Calories Are Found In Either Moderate or Minuscule Amounts
Not all the contents of bananas have little or no calories like banana’s water and fiber content. Bananas also contain starch which can have up to 2 to 4 calories per gram, protein which has calories 4 per gram, sugar which has calories 4 per gram, and fat which has calories 9 per gram. However, as already mentioned each of these four contents are found in either minuscule or moderate amounts in bananas, and so overall bananas are a low calorie food.
Do not overeat bananas; not only could you end up taking in certain nutrients in excessive quantities, which is not healthy, but you wind up taking in to many calories through your banana consumption.
Provide Energy At Relatively Little Calorie Expense
Bananas are not just potentially great for weight loss because they fill you up at relatively little calorie expense. They are also potentially great for weight loss because they provide longer-lasting energy at relatively little calorie expense. This ability that bananas have to provide energy at minimal calorie expense is important because when you’re on a weight loss diet, you don’t want to be losing weight at the expense of you being tired all the time. You still want to have plenty of energy.
That’s why it’s a great idea to eat foods like bananas when trying to lose weight because bananas will provide you energy while still being low in calories.
How Are Bananas Able to Provide Longer-Lasting Energy and Yet Be Low in Calories?
Calories are units of energy.
When the body takes in/consumes too much calories (or energy), the leftover energy will be stored at as fat that the body will burn in the future when it needs energy
As mentioned earlier the average medium size banana (7-7/8inches) has about 105 calories.
105 calories is enough energy to energize the body, but not enough to where there will a lot of energy left over that will be converted into fat, making bananas a weight loss friendly food.
Much of bananas energy is longer-lasting, and this is due to bananas carb content. The carb content of bananas is sugar, fiber, and starch.
Now, most of bananas energy or calories come from its sugar content. Sugar is a simple carb is easy for the body to break down.
Now when fiber is present the fiber will slow down the body’s ability to break down sugar, and because it takes longer for the body to break down sugar, the energy that sugar provides lasts longer.
This is one one the main reasons why bananas are able to provide longer-lasing energy, because banana’s fiber contents slows down the body’s ability to break down banana’s main energy source which is its sugar content.
Weight Loss Not A Sure Thing
Weight loss is not a sure thing with eating bananas. Because weight loss is not about whether you’re eating one specific type of food or not, it’s about your whole diet. It’s about is your whole diet being one where your taking in fewer calories than your burning.
As mentioned above, one of the things that make bananas so weight loss friendly is their fiber content, and there are studies that show fiber consumption has an inverse relationship with body weight (1)(2)(3).
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